Wales boss Ryan Giggs has explained Reading full-back Chris Gunter’s omission from the Welsh national side, and outlined the professionalism of the 30-year-old.
Gunter is Wales’ most capped male footballer of all time, with 96 international appearances to his name. He’s already been in the game for 13 years and looks set to have a few more years ahead of him yet.
He’s been a longstanding member of the Welsh national team and held a record of featuring in 63 consecutive matches for his national side up until last year.
Giggs has opted for Swansea’s Connor Roberts at right-back of late, with the more experienced likes Gunter and Ashley Williams missing out.
“It’s not easy. These can be hard conversations to have,” Giggs told Barry and District News.
“You’re leaving out players who are big characters and who have done so much for their country. Sometimes I don’t even have an excuse because they’ve been great when I’ve picked them and are regulars in club football.
Can you get 15 out of 15 on this Reading quiz? Have a go now!
“With Gunter, I explained to him that I just couldn’t ignore Roberts’ form, the way he was playing for Swansea, and then subsequently with Wales.
“But I don’t have a single word to say against Gunter. He’s been fantastic, really stands out in XI v XI during training, doesn’t moan, I don’t need to say too much. Sometimes he’s really disappointed, which is fair enough, but he’s a good person to have in the squad.”
Throughout the first-half of this season, the only football that Gunter had played was with Wales. He was exiled – along with many other Reading players – by Jose Gomes, but has since returned to the side under Mark Bowen.
He’s struggling with injuries though and hasn’t featured for the Royals since February.
Gunter is a true professional. He’s a typical full-back who gets on with the task at hand, and maintains a high-standard in doing so, and Bowen has reminded fans of the player he is by reintroducing him back into the side.
At 30-years-old though, his international involvements may start to slip away. He’s plenty of years at club level though, and he remains a top Championship full-back.